The Gospel of the day (Matthew 3, 13-17)

The Baptism of the Lord

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Why was Christ baptized ?

Saint Maximus the Confessor, Ambigua, the 2nd part, 116, in Church Fathers and Writers (1983), vol. 80, p. 295

The Word, Who created the nature of the men, wanting to free the man of this birth and bring him back to the divine bliss, makes Himself man among men and is born in flesh without sin for the man and He is baptized willingly bearing for us the One Who is God after being and the Son of God after nature the birth for the spiritual adoption for the emptying of the power of being born in flesh. Thus the Son and the Word Who created us and Who is a triune God glorified together with the Father and the Holy Spirit makes Himself a man like us for our sake from us and He is born in flesh without sin and accepts to bear, the One Who is by nature God, the birth by baptism for the spiritual adoption for us.

Saint John Chrysostom, Homilies at Matthew, Homily XII, III, in Church Fathers and Writers (1994), vol. 23, p. 150

`…now at Jordan He fulfilled the Judaic Baptism but in the same time He opened the door for the baptism of the Church; as then at a single table now at a single river He fulfilled the shadow and added the truth. Only our baptism has the Grace of the Spirit; John`s baptism lacked this grace. That is why with no one else from those baptized by John took place this miracle except for the One Who gave our baptism to learn that beside what was said not the purity of the one who baptized but the power of the Baptized made that possible. Then the skies opened and the Spirit descended. Being opened the gates from above and being sent from there the Spirit and calling us to our heavenly homeland, Christ take sus from our old living to the new life. Not only does He call us but He also gives us the greatest honor. He did not make us Angels and Archangels but beloved sons of God; in this way He gives us to inherit the skies.`

Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Comment at the Gospel of Saint John, 1st book, chapter 10, in Church Fathers and Writers (2000), vol. 41, p. 131

As the blessed Baptist says : `I bring the pedagogical baptism washing with water those soiled by sin for the beginning of repentance and teaching them to rise up from those from below to the perfect ones. This will come to accomplish for real The One I was sent to announce.`


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